Science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel's reports on physics, space, and all things nuclear can be heard across NPR News programs and on NPR.org.

Brumfiel has carried his microphone into ghost villages created by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. He's tracked the journey of highly enriched uranium as it was shipped out of Poland. For a story on how animals drink, he crouched for over an hour and tried to convince his neighbor's cat to lap a bowl of milk. He became a full-time correspondent in March of 2013.

Agriculture
10:52 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Northern Illinois Farmers Try To Prevent Hog Virus

Electron micrograph of a US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particle detected in a field fecal sample collected during a 2013 outbreak of PED on a farm in Ohio, USA
Credit CDC

Hog farmers are dealing with a devastating virus that is wiping out newborn pigs.

Ogle County Farm Bureau President and Polo, IL hog farmer Brian Duncan says he has seen the effects of the PED virus.

"We are doing all we can, but I guess I have just been resolved that it's not a matter of if, but when," Duncan said.

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Election 2014
10:45 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Onetime Tea Party Favorite Battles Founder of Rockford Party

Incumbent Adam Kinzinger (L) and challenger David Hale.

In 2010, political newcomer Adam Kinzinger defeated an incumbent Congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, in the 11th Congressional District. Halvorson, a conservative Democrat, had high marks from the National Rifle Association. Kinzinger had the nascent Tea Party on his side.

What a difference four years makes.

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-Illinois
10:45 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Professor: Poor Reputation Costs Illinois Taxpayers

Credit Brian Mackey

When it comes to finances, the State of Illinois has a poor reputation.   New research shows how the state's negative perception is costing taxpayers. 

Illinois already has the worst credit rating among states.  And while that adds to the cost of borrowing money, Illinois winds up paying even more because investors view it as risky of default.

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Election 2014
10:42 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Sheriff's Contests Abound On Primary Ballots

The March 18 primary election in northern Illinois includes several contests for the office of county sheriff. The number of hopefuls varies significantly, with a high of seven candidates in Winnebago County, where incumbent Democrat Richard Meyers will not be running for re-election.

Democratic candidates are:

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Agriculture
10:24 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Hog Virus Causes Woes For Farmers

Hog producer Phil Borgic of Nokomis, Ill., lost one full month of piglets to the PED virus
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

A deadly virus that’s plagued U.S. hog farms for almost a year has triggered record-high prices for pork heading to market this spring and summer. That means you’ll likely be paying more for pork and bacon, at least for the next few months.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – or PEDv – hits piglets the hardest.

Once they contract the disease, they can’t properly digest milk from their mother… and many simply wither away. The disease isn’t a threat to humans, but millions of pigs have died.

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County Clerks Demur
10:05 am
Mon March 10, 2014

No Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Yet in Northern Illinois

Lisa Madigan

Northern Illinois counties are not so eager to follow the recent proposition set forth by State Attorney General Lisa Madigan that would allow counties outside of Cook County to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the effective date of June 1, 2014.

Madigan expressed her opinion following the Cook County federal court ruling of Lee vs. Orr. The court ruled that denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple facing terminal illness would be a violation of human rights and was deemed unconstitutional.

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Winter
6:06 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Tons Of Road Salt Requested For DeKalb

Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

DeKalb's public works department is already getting ready for next year's snow season.

The department is requesting aldermen authorize the Mayor to sign an agreement to buy thirty-five hundred tons of road salt to prepare for next winter.

March 10 Agenda

DeKalb Public Works Director T.J. Moore told WNIJ last month the department has to estimate the need of road salt in advance. He says making the estimation can be difficult.

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Rockford
5:31 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Rockford Police: License Plate Thefts On The Rise

Credit cyberdriveillinois.com

Rockford Police say there's been an uptick in license plate thefts. They advise drivers to tighten up their plates or consider buying products that make it difficult to remove them.

Election 2014
6:44 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Streb: Uphill Battle for GOP Senate Nominee

Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Doug Truax, left, and Jim Oberweis
Credit Campaign websites

Whoever wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate will have an uphill battle this fall, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist at Northern Illinois University says incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin has $5 million in the bank and is "very popular" in the state.

Durbin is unopposed in the March 18 primary. The men who would replace him are Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, and West Point graduate Doug Truax.

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